Forever blowing bubbles: a tale of whistleblowing in Europe
The recent detergents cases in Europe involving Henkel, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever, show that if you want to avoid blowing your chances of immunity, you need to get your strategy set from the start.
The cases show the importance for a company seeking immunity from fines or prosecutionto apply both to the relevant national competition regulatory and to the EU directorate general.
Th detergents cases demonstrate how applying only to one (either at the EU or national level) does not secure protection, making the difference between a hefty fine and no fine at all.
This may be difficult for companies that uncover their involvement in a cartel but are uncertain about the geographic scope of its operation or the products involved. Which regulator has jurisdiction over a cartel involving similar products and/or similar practices over a similar time period, as was the case with detergents, can leave a company vulnerable if they seek immunity in only one jurisdiction, but remain exposed in others.